24

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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Putting The "Curt" In "Curtis"

Meanwhile, Chloe has tracked the Handler to a self-storage facility, one of those places with two hundred little garages full of stuff that people don't want in their house but can't bring themselves to get rid of. It's 8:44:22 as the Handler, still carrying his briefcase, approaches one of the units. A CTU agent in helmet and riot gear is on a nearby roof, watching him through a scope. The Handler reaches one of the units and starts opening the padlock. How awesome would it be if, at this point, the Handler realized he'd left the key in his car? More CTU agents quietly take up position all around the facility. Those CTUmobiles must be huge on the inside. While Curtis and Kiefer move closer, the agent on the roof reports what he can see from there. Which is a lot, because the Handler has, for some reason, removed the tarp covering the entire contents of the storage unit. As the agent reports, wooden crates stamped with Czech lettering are stacked head-high. Looking at the crates, I wonder what the Czech word "C-4" translates to in English. Kiefer realizes that this is a dead drop and that Fayed isn't around. Over the comm earpiece, Buchanan says that's too bad, because they're out of time. They're just going to have to nab the Handler and make him give up Fayed's location. Kiefer says it's too risky, because they don't know if they can make the Handler talk. Especially now that Kiefer's gone soft, although he doesn't say that. Buchanan says that it's their only option, and tells Curtis to get into position. Over the comm, Curtis tells his men to move in: "Silent approach, non-lethal force." Now taking bets on which half of that order is going to get screwed up.

Meanwhile, the Handler has broken out a laptop and is opening it up when he hears a metallic clang from the middle distance. He looks up in that direction, but the CTU agent on the roof is hiding. All the Handler can see is the top of the agent's helmet. Yes, Curtis's men know their jobs, all right. The Handler stops what he's doing and opens his briefcase. As Curtis and Kiefer get into position, the Handler takes a handgun out of his briefcase and opens up on the rooftop agent. The agent returns fire, and the Handler takes cover behind the HUGE PALLET OF EXPLOSIVES as more agents open fire. Good plan. The Handler manages to take down one agent, but in so doing, he exposes himself to a bullet from Curtis's gun and goes down, out of sight behind the crates. Curtis orders him to show himself, but when the Handler does, it's with a hand grenade. Kiefer runs out and yanks Curtis back into a doorway, ordering everyone else back, just before the entire storage unit and its contents blow the fuck up. And unless Fayed is in next Tuesday, their chances of following the Handler to him are pretty much shot. While burning debris is still raining down, Kiefer notifies Buchanan that the Handler was killed while retrieving a laptop: "We'll check the hard drive, but it's been badly damaged." Buchanan tells Nadia to get Wayne on the line. Hey, the good news is that, since the Handler was unable to carry out his task, Fayed will be unable to proceed with his plan, right? Right? Oh, who am I kidding.

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24

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